Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Campbell, SVD, the Parish Priest of Christ the King Parish in Accra, has called on young people to join the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP), a charitable group in the Catholic Church, to appreciate the vocation of giving to the poor.
He noted that “Not all of us can do great things but we can do small things with great love, hence the need to encourage the youth to join the group to give support to the poor in their small way.
Addressing the Vincentians on July 6, 2019 during their National Festival Meeting at the St. Thomas Aquinas Church at the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Fr. noted that the poor, sick and needy were the treasures of the Church, who should be shown much empathy and love.
The three-day Meeting, attended by 300 members from eleven Dioceses was on the theme: The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy: The Essence of the Vincentian Vocation.
Fr. Campbell, Fr. Andrew Campbell, who is the National Spiritual Advisor of the Vincentians, said like Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Catholics through they have a mandate to give dignity to the poor so that they do not feel abandoned, challenging the Vincentians to go out there to look for the poor, needy and the marginalized in their parishes, communities and on the streets.
He told the Vincentians that as they devote themselves to the practical works of charity, they should also make part of their vocation to counsel prostitutes, lepers and people living with HIV and AIDS.
The National Spiritual Advisor urged Conferences at the National, Diocesan, Deanery and Parishes to deepen their spirituality by organising more activities like retreats and ensuring that they are Communicants.
He asked them to strive to open more Conferences in Parishes and appealed to Catholics to support the existing Conferences which has the sole aim of supporting the poor in deeds and spiritually.
Most Rev. Joseph Afrigfah-Agyekum, Bishop of Koforidua in a presentation urged Catholics especially members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) not to give up in extending their charitable acts to the poor, needy and the under-privileged in society in spite of the financial challenges.
He encouraged them to continue to let their charity works be for the common good and the basic welfare of the human person as espoused by their Patron Saint, Vincent de Paul.
Bishop Afrifah-Agyekum reminded the Vincentians that charitable acts go with love and spirituality, hence the need to for them to show unconditional love to the sick and needy and share the faith to them.
He stated that the biblical texts on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy reflect the Church’s teaching on Social Justice, saying that the virtue of mercy was deeply rooted in and evoked by the mercy of God.
Mr. Michael Xatse, the National President, thanked the Vincentians for their services to humanity and called on them to continue devoting themselves to visiting the poor, the needy, the lonely, the sick and prisoners in their locations and provide for their particular needs.
He prayed that the Meeting, the first in many years, would rekindle the ambers of the fire of love in all Dioceses to re-invigorate their zeal to establish new Conference.
The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) is an international voluntary organization in the Catholic Church founded in 1833 to help impoverished people living in the slums of Paris, France. The Society was established in Ghana in 1962 by the White Fathers through Jirapa in the Wa Diocese.
IMG_1925 Photos: Fr. Andrew Campbell interacting with Bishop Joseph Afrifah Agyekum of Koforidua Diocese, Ghana at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Meeting at the University of Ghana Chaplaincy July 6, 2019. Photo by Damian Avevor
IMG_1873 Photos: Fr. Andrew Campbell sharing a word with Bishop Joseph Afrifah Agyekum of Koforidua Diocese, Ghana at the Festival Meeting at the University of Ghana Chaplaincy July 6, 2019. In the background (left) is Mr. Michael Xatse, National President of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Ghana. Photo by Damian Avevor
IMG_1902 Photos: Fr. Andrew Campbell and Bishop Joseph Afrifah Agyekum of Koforidua Diocese, Ghana with members of Society of St. Vincent de Paul at the Festival Meeting at the University of Ghana Chaplaincy July 6, 2019. In the background (left) is Mr. Michael Xatse, National President of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Ghana. Photo by Damian Avevor